Leeds 36 Harlequins 18: Lauitiiti unlocks Harlequins to secure Leeds' place in last four

Leeds reached their 12th Challenge Cup semi-final in the past 14 years, overcoming a determined challenge from Harlequins with a compelling second half performance inspired by the introduction off the bench of the giant Kiwi forward, Ali Lauitiiti.

Holding a tenuous 12-10 lead and with the visitors in the ascendancy after quick-fire tries by Luke Dorn and Michael Worrincy just after half-time, Leeds suddenly came to life with a decisive four-try scoring burst in the space of 10 minutes.

Lauitiiti's offloading skills twice unlocked the Harlequins defence in the three decisive minutes that turned the tie. His one-handed pass enabled Chev Walker to put Scott Donald over before he combined with Donald to send Danny McGuire cutting inside. The teenaged winger Danny Williams and Donald added further tries with Leeds now firmly in control.

Though Pat Weisner and Tyrone Smith pulled back tries for Harlequins, Williams completed his hat-trick in the last minute, with an opportunist score from Rob Burrow's long raking kick. Leeds initially made heavy weather of the tie and their hospitalised coach Tony Smith, watching on television while recovering from a gastric illness, could hardly have felt much better as his side struggled for fluency. Assistant coach Brian McDermott took control in Smith's absence.

Harlequins created the best chances to break the deadlock, Solomon Haumono being held up over the home line in a massed tackle while Henry Paul, after following up his own clever chip kick, was just unable to grab the ball by the posts.

Leeds finally broke a tense deadlock after 32 minutes, with Willie Poching collecting Kevin Sinfield's pass and barging through Paul's tackle and past the covering Mark McLinden for the opening try. Six minutes later Burrow's elusive crossfield run set up Williams who evaded Nick Bradley-Qalilawa's challenge for a try again converted by Sinfield.

Leeds: L Smith; Donald, Walker, Senior, Danny Williams; McGuire, Burrow; Jones-Buchanan, Diskin, Scruton, Peacock, Ellis, Sinfield. Substitutes used: O'Neill, Millard, Lauitiiti, Poching.

Harlequins: McLinden; Bradley-Qalilawa, Luisi, Purdham, T Smith; Paul, Dorn; Tookey, Randall, Lolohea, Haumono, Hopkins, Mbu. Substitutes used: Danny Williams, Mills, Weisner, Worrincy.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food